GRRRRRR. Commerce is Not a "Privilege"

The government terminology that tends to tick me off the most is calling commerce a "privilege" that can only be granted to the state and therefor must be licensed with appropriate tribute paid to the state for the "privilege."  Here in Arizona our sales tax is called a "transaction privilege tax."  Here is a story about licensing bloggers in Philly:

Between her blog and infrequent contributions to ehow.com, over the last few years she says she's made about $50. To [Marilyn] Bess, her website is a hobby. To the city of Philadelphia, it's a potential moneymaker, and the city wants its cut.

In May, the city sent Bess a letter demanding that she pay $300, the price of a business privilege license.

Selling one's labor, and conducting commerce to the mutual interest of two parties are fundamental rights rather than artificial constructs granted by the state.

  • rox_publius

    in a related story, i relocated from philadelphia proper to the delaware county suburbs in november.

    http://www.pwib.org/downloads/population.jpg

  • Bob Smith

    Philly wants to drive businesses out of the city. How else do you explain:

    1) Philly has a wage income tax paid by employees of Philly businesses and Philly-resident employees of non-Philly businesses. This is in addition to state and federal personal income tax.
    2) They have a 3% real estate transfer tax on top of the 1% state tax.
    3) They have a 6% business income tax applicable to sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations, in addition to the 9.9% state corporate income tax and state personal income tax.
    4) They have a number of special taxes on various business types on top of the above.

    All of this can be avoided by the simple expedient of relocating outside the city, yet city officials publicly claim to not know how to stop outmigration of businesses and people from Philadelphia. Sadly, I think said officials really are stupid enough, or ideologically blinded enough, not to understand.

  • rox_publius

    you've forgotten the particularly heinous gross receipts tax, whereby businesses pay on income regardless of profit. this is especially fun during time of economic distress.

  • Uno Hu

    A further example of people getting they type goverment they deserve. Until the construction of the Philadelphia Wall is completed, thereby preventing the escape of the citizens to tax friendlier locales, they neither deserve nor have my sympathy.

  • Jesse

    This is ridiculous. Cities need revenue, but anti-business draconian practices like this stifle growth.

  • DensityDuck

    The two council members quoted in the story -- Bill Green and Maria Quiñones-Sánchez -- are both Democrats. (go figure, right?) In fact, of 17 city council members, only THREE are Republicans.

  • IgotBupkis, President, United Anarchist Society

    > Selling one’s labor, and conducting commerce to the mutual interest of two parties are fundamental rights rather than artificial constructs granted by the state.

    FOOLISH MAN, don't you know that breathing is an artificial construct granted by The State?

    What do you think this is, a free country, or something...?

  • IgotBupkis

    > In fact, of 17 city council members, only THREE are Republicans.

    WTF does a city need with ***17*** council members?

    I can see how to cut expenditures and thus taxes already. Primary AND secondary benefits to that action.